City Government Q&A with Jacob Martin
On Oct. 16, County 3 sent a standardized email to each city council candidate still in the race. Later that day, Jacob Martin replied. The prompts and replies are shared below in a Q&A format.
County 3: Mayor Roger Miller has often asked “Who is the CEO of the city?” Even though a city is significantly more complex than a company, the analogy might be useful in examining Sheridan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Can you identify a few of these for Sheridan? What actions will you take to preserve the city’s strengths, improve upon its weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and navigate through threats?
Martin: It is important to see a difference between a corporation and our government. They are not opposite, but there is a difference. Our city attorney pointed out when drafting the Mayor/Council Handbook, (requested by our mayor to define duties and roles) that CEO is a term that can apply to a position of a small local lawn care company, and also the Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola. Both have very different roles. Sheridan has many strengths. First off our people, hard working, with a great culture and value system. Our history which is vibrant and intact to display to our tourists, and next generation. We have a great college that attracts many for our great education system, and affordability. Our amazing location, with the Big Horn Mountains, lakes, and open prairies. Our local non-profits, businesses, and growing manufacturing industry. Our weakness is our demographic. We have up and coming economic opportunities, but lack the workforce, and are struggling to draw young families. Labor shortage is a threat that looms over all of Wyoming. I think it will be advantageous to have someone from the demographic you want to attract, represent in government. I have short and long term plans that will capitalize and maintain our land, money, and culture.
County 3: Fluoride has been a hot-button issue at several of the city council meetings. What is your stance on fluoride itself, and how do you think the issue should be treated in our government? Please feel free to give a nuanced or alternative answer.
Martin: As far as fluoride, I believe in individual choice. If my dentist told me I needed fluoridation supplementation to help my teeth, I would consider it and perhaps supplement myself with fluoride. I would not expect my entire community to do the same. Elected representatives are there to make some decisions based on trust, but that line is crossed when it comes to deciding what you are putting in your body. I believe what you put in your body is your business.
County 3: Sheridan has been increasing its efforts to attract tourists and has seen a fair amount of success. Should these efforts be continued and, if so, what should our next steps be?
Martin: Tourism is one of our main money makers, and its efforts should absolutely be continued. We have an amazing place to show off, and it deserves to be seen. Our next steps are to maintain our mountains, historical landmarks, local businesses, and wildlife.
County 3: There has been a great deal of tension between the mayor and the city council over separation of powers and responsibilities. According to your understanding, how is our city government currently set up? Is this the way you would like to see it set up, and, if not, what form would you like to see it take? Please feel free to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the systems, including examples gleaned from historical precedent.
Martin: My interest is to save tax payers money and ensure a prosperous community. I have met with the mayor on the government he would like to see, and have met with those who tell me the administrator has saved lots of money, and it is working for our city employees. I am aware of the 2008 vote not in favor of having a administrator. I do not like the way the implementing of the position was done. I have a draft of the mayor/council handbook and this is a strong mayor/council government with a city administrator who helps supervise dept. heads, helps prepare budgets for approval, and coordinates small details. This is a strong mayor form, as the mayor has appointment, veto, and authorization power. If I think we are going to save money by repealing the administrator position, I will. If the administrator position is a lucrative asset that helps and does not hinder our elected officials visions, I want to keep the employee. I am going to keep doing my research, and if asked to repeal the administrator position, I am going to back up why my vote went to which side.
County 3: What experiences, connections, and other advantages would you, as an individual, bring to the city government? How would these cause governmental decisions to be more effective, efficient, and insightful?
Martin: I have many connections to this community, I graduated elementary, middle, high school, and college here. I have had many unique experiences that will help me in office. I learned about local business, helping my Mom out when she owned the P.O. News. I learned a lot with my Dad, staying in different countries when he worked with the United Nations, and meeting amazing people. I learned a lot about agriculture, helping my Step-Dad on his ranch. I am a versatile individual, who believes in completing goals in a timely manner, and am looking forward to being part of the team.
I would also like to add I have learned so much working for great people in this community doing construction, hospitality, tech work, and my current field of research and statistics. I will use this experience in my position on city council.